Melania Trump will stay in New York until Barron Trump finishes out the year at his prestigious private elementary school, so the White House will be without a First Lady for much of President Donald Trump’s first year. Or will it?
It seems Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who was instrumental in his Presidential campaign, may be looking to fill the ceremonial role.
A piece by the New York Times revealed that Ivanka, like her father, is distancing herself from her role at Trump Corporation, where she serves as one of several Vice Presidents (along with her brother, Eric Trump).
But, interestingly, she also appears to be reorganizing her clothing and accessories empire, divesting herself of much of her interest in that business and her associated licensing contracts. She’s also, reportedly, on the hunt for a new CEO to take over after the holidays, so that she can pass off her day-to-day responsibilities as she transitions into some sort of White House role.
Such major changes wouldn’t be necessary unless Ivanka found herself in a position where her duties as part of the President’s team would come into regular conflict with (or provide her with inside information on) her business interests at home and abroad.
In recent days, she and her husband Jared Kushner, who is likely to take on an advisory role in the Trump Administration, have been house hunting in Washington D.C., near the White House. And Ivanka has spoken candidly about how she feels she’d bring her family’s newfound influence to bear from 1600 Pennsylvania — not as a high-level policy director, but “as a daughter” to the President.
“I’m going to be a daughter,” she told 60 Minutes recently. “But I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them.… So, you know there are a lot of things that I feel deeply, strongly about. But not in a formal administrative capacity.”
All indications are that she intends to become an advocate, a confidant, and a trusted strategist for her father, Donald Trump, in the White House just as she was in his corporation — and that dovetails nicely with the open First Lady position.
First Ladies are traditionally quiet advisers to their President husbands, but in recent administrations, have become strong policy advocates for everything from literacy and child welfare to healthy eating. Ivanka’s determination to change the way women are treated in the workplace would translate nicely to the First Lady platform, and it’s clear her father trusts her, even moreso than Melania, to chime in on complex matters of foreign and domestic policy.
She wouldn’t even be the first. Both Thomas Jefferson and Harry S Truman had daughters who served in the First Lady role.